He was disintegrated and then reformed, I get that but at what point did he decide not to bother with wearing clothes?

I would imagine that if he walked into someone's office after regenerating the conversation would have been more like:

"Good lord, you're alive! And your blue!! And put some clothes on, man!"

"There is no need for clothing, I feel no cold and shame is a human concept"

"Well get dressed anyway. We're still human and it's freaky enough you are blue and you don't want to get anything caught in a draw or something, do you"

So logically he must have presented them with a sound argument as to why he did not want to ever get dressed again, does anyone know what it is?

  • Another question would be, why he used to run around as a human in the first place, since he could as well fly around as a bunch of energy or whatever (especially at the end, where even earth didn't hold him anymore). Maybe he was to some degree still used to his human self, if not out of sentimentality then maybe just out of habit. Or if this perfect Adonis body was actually the real body of Jon Osterman (it certainly wasn't Billy Crudup's at least) and if not why he did chose such a perfect body instead of his original one then.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 14:20
  • @ChristianRau, I assumed he stayed as a human to make it easier for people to interact with him? Although I have never read the comic and spent most of the time shouting at him to stop being a weirdo and put some clothes on so I might have missed something
    – Stefan
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 15:13
  • "I assumed he stayed as a human to make it easier for people to interact with him?" - While that makes sense, it doesn't hold so much at the end when he is alone on Mars and doesn't interact with any humans at all. But in the end this explanation also makes sense in the way that it was much easier to interact with the audience/readership this way. Thus I think the authors just kept him a human to not completely exaggerate and just didn't explore his alienation that far. That's why I wouldn't ask this as an actual question, as the answer would probably be "that's the way it was written".
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 15:33
  • Yeah, fair point
    – Stefan
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 15:46

3 Answers 3


Well, he wears clothes now and then, since he hasn't completely lost his sense for what human culture demands in order to concentrate on the real matters (instead of just starring at his blue dong). For example he wears a suit during the TV-interview and he also wore a speedo now and then when with other people (at least at the beginning, I think).

But it is also a fact and innate to the development of his character that he loses his connection to humanity and its puny problems more and more during the course of the story. This is indeed reflected in his growing reluctance to wear clothes, up until the point when he doesn't really care how people see him as he doesn't care about them anymore either (and neither to explain anything to them). It's not just about shame, but about cultural adaption and making your fellow people feel comfortable, for which Dr. Manhattan had absolutely no desire or reason anymore at the end.

(And from a filmmaker's perspective (beware I'm none) I'd say it also somehow shows the filmmakers' dedication to the source material. While it is really a bit irritating at first, since you don't expect that from a major Hollywood movie (and I found myself starring at his wang now and then in the cinema ;-)), it shows that the filmmakers don't take any consequences in transporting the story, no matter if it involves excessive violence or showing a blue penis, which for a more-or-less mainstream blockbuster is quite unusual.)

  • +1 - Well said Christain Rau. I have seen it in the theater and on TV. It seems to me, they added some clothing for the TV version, but I could be imagining it. I have seen other movies on TV where they have added clothing (or there were two scenes shot, one for each showing type). One such time was in Swordfish where they covered up Halle Berry with a swim suit during the suntanning scene for the TV version. Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 13:00
  • 2
    @Paulster2 I had that impression, too, but when watching it on TV recently, he was definitely naked in a bunch of scenes and I might have just a different memory of previous TV-airings (or it was due to watching the repetition at 1:00 am). But then again it may also differ from country to country and I'd say the one in which I watched it on TV (Germany) is one of the more liberal in this regard. I've heard such things also from Into the Blue's U.S. release, where they made Jessica Alba's panties larger in the swimming scenes.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 13:05
  • 1
    It was IMHO integrated into the story pretty well, since neither did the movie try to hide it, nor did it wave it into your face shouting "hey look how avantgarde we are", whereas it was really a novum for such a major Hollywood blockbuster to show it that prominently, I think.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 13:20
  • Yes, could definitely be the difference in where it was shown on TV. Been plenty of discussion on that point before ;) As been said, we Americans seem to be prudes when it comes to nudity. Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 13:21
  • 1
    This wasn't a mainstream blockbuster. There was lot's of discussion prior to the release of the movie. Fans of the comics would have rioted if there was no blue dangle-down.
    – Ben Plont
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 16:40

The only thing the above answer leaves out is that Dr. Manhattan's nudity (chiefly, his ability and willingness to expose his genitals) is symbolic of his invulnerability to harm. Going the Freudian route, he's the only male character for whom no threat of castration exists, so he can truly let it all hang out.

  • 3
    Good point about the symbolism aspect.
    – Stefan
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 11:11
  • 1
    +1 Very good point. Indeed clothes don't just serve for hiding and identification, but also protection.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 11:27

He doesn't care. In his mind he's not human. And it's not like they can force him.

  • 1
    So what does he say when someone asks him to put clothes on? Someone must have remarked on it at some point, wouldn't you?
    – Stefan
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:15
  • Not sure I'd bother. I'd step lightly around a godlike being. You know, pick your battles. Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 18:28
  • Oh - well maybe it is just me then!
    – Stefan
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 22:12

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